Category Archives: General

Top Kid Drones (Part II)

These drones are built for more than just flying.

Some of the top drones for kids are crafted for more than just flying. Take a look at the stunt-tastic JoyGeek Mini Drone, for instance, or the laser-equipped Holy Stone HS177 battle drone, a solid bit of added entertainment to keep your children occupied.

The more you spend, the more extra features you’ll unlock, like an onboard camera, the capability to beam a first-person camera view to your cell, and crush-proof construction.

There are many children drones to pick from, but the brands in this guide, like Hubsan, UDI and Holy Stone, have a good reputation in terms of performance, dependability and build-in quality.

THE BEST KIDS DRONES

ALTAIR AA108

If your kid has been looking at your drone with hungry eyes, but you’re worried about letting them loose on such a commanding machine, the AA108 packs high-end styling but with sufficient features to be sure it’s a safe and fun drone for learning the basics.

One-touch take-off and landing take the stress out of being airborne, and headless and altitude hold modes mean the drone won’t fall out of the sky or accidentally fly out of range. Fixed propeller guards are on hand to safeguard surroundings and people.

The AA108 is a drone to grow with. The FlyingSee companion app presents new pilots to custom flight paths. You can send the drone mechanically along a particular route traced on your smartphone screen.

HOLY STONE DEERC170 PREDATOR MINI RC QUADCOPTER

One of the main issues for kids, when they begin to fly drones, is control. Fundamentally understanding how the controls flip depend on if the drone is coming back or going away from them.

The Holy Stone DEERC170 Predator has some intelligent technology that repairs the drone’s controls to the controller instead of the head of the drone. This headless mode means the controller will always be left on the drone regardless of which direction it’s pointing.

Best AR Toys (Part II) 

 

JEDI CHALLENGES

This toy is part of other buying guides. However, this mixed reality stroke of genius warrants its place in this round-up entirely due to its “wow” factor. Put your handset into the headset, put the guidance orb on the floor, boot up and then you’re set. Play is picked from the different planets provided which you look at and push the hilt to select.

As well as fighting the red-faced adversary, there are several more enemies and droids to face off against. You can change up and be a part of battle planning before unleashing AR troops in your office-based battlefield.

Most significantly, you can get down to some typical Star Wars holographic chess.

MERGE CUBE

Cheap as chips but twice as nice. The merge cube has been having a good time overseas with selling millions of its AR infused cubes. There’s no reason we can see it not doing really well elsewhere, too, with the little spongy thing collecting plenty of approvals for its content provided via the QR-like glyphs on each side.

The merge cube has a kid-friendly content platform, the Merge Miniverse, containing more than 24 merge cube app experiences. Merge cube educational experiences let children get immersive and discover by going back in time with Dino Digger and through space on the Galactic Explorer. All inside the body with Anatomy AR which is pure animated excellence.

You can slice watermelon the cube. 

The cube also has gaming experiences like Things with one-minute wonders such as winding a jack in the box out of his dwelling or slicing a watermelon. On their own, fairly mundane tasks. But highly entertaining for a couple of moments.

Other gaming experiences are a striking Minecraft-like game Dig, and leading a virtual ball across different animated terrains in Tiltball, each one taking a minute to perfect and great fun to play. There’s also solid retro gaming Snake Attack which is very cool.

Get on board with this convenient holographic cube and take pleasure in the ride.

Best AR Toys (Part I) 

 

Yes,

These AR games are educational too.

completely immersive virtual reality experiences are fabulous. But if you don’t have the time, bank account, or inclination to go deep into that side of digital entertainment then let us select the best AR toys and playthings.

These are the top AR toys on the market, and they are sure to amuse you and your smartphone, while not taking up too much of your time or putting a dent in your wallet. Many of these toys aren’t just AR-infused either but infused with educational value too, meaning that their owner can get brainier while they have crazy fun, too.

IRON MAN AR MASK

See what Iron Man may see as you battle enemies in your front room. With the Hero Vision app and smartphone device put inside the mask, you’ll have the included markers around the place and go into battle, take on AR adventures and typically be as Marvel as you can be.

It is geared at kids but appealing to mature fans to no doubt. There are more than ten levels to play in order to save the earth from mad titan man Thanos with the gauntlet and Infinity Stone accessories.

To get the true max out of your mask set, you’ll have to have a good amount of space and, by moving the AR markers around you’ll receive a new play experience each time. Not a bad piece of superhero wear.

CURISCOPE

Get your guts out. An AR version of them at least. A real decent party trick for Friday nights. The tee scanned by the app delivers your innards too.

Created as a learning tool, the rib cage styled top pops to life on a smart device for you to have a look around at the wearer’s organs. It produces a pumping heart and lungs at first and then it’s your choice to take things further. Tap on the item of fascination and receive information on how these working parts function whilst going on an entertaining anatomical journey.

Best Toys for Elderly Canines (Part III) 

Senior Kong

Almost every dog owner is aware of the red rubber snowman-shaped toy that is the traditional Kong. The purple senior dog version is crafted to be tenderer on aging teeth and gums while still offering the chewing, fetching, and issue-solving experience dogs adore.

Hear Doggy Plushies

Dogs love the pleasing squeak they get when playing with their plushies, but as they get older, hearing loss can make them lose interest in their favorite squeakers. The products made by Hear Doggy function at a high frequency that is only perceptible to dogs. The toys are created to give owners a reprieve from nonstop squeaking, but dogs with partial hearing loss keep the ability to hear these higher frequencies, making Hear Doggy toys a good choice for senior furry family members.

Stinky Squeaker Sneaker

Play is important for all dogs regardless of their age.

There’s nothing your dog likes more than your scent – the funkier the better! When left home alone, things with your familiar aroma can help bring comfort and anxiety relief, particularly for senior dogs that may be having disorienting vision loss, hearing loss or cognitive dysfunction.

Just stuff a dirty sock inside the cute sneaker-shaped plushie and give it to your doggie to play or snuggle with! You might want to take a look at the adorable pink Stinky Squeaker Slipper as well.

Doggie Dice

There are several delightful bonding choices hiding inside this little plush cube. Regardless of what activity level your senior dog is at, Doggie Dice offers a chance for play. Each of the six sides lists a different activity you can enjoy together, like selfies ad belly rubs.

Even though your pet’s puppy years are way behind him, his need to play is still powerful. Playtime delivers mental stimulation to senior dogs, keeping their cognitive skills in topnotch shape, and helps them sustain a youthful personality.

 

Best Toys for Elderly Canines (Part II)

 

Flying Disc

These toys are great options to give your elderly canine friend some much needed play time without the strain.

Disc-loving senior pets don’t have to retreat just because they have dental issues. The Flexible Flying Disc is made of soft but resilient natural rubber to stop injury or pain. Remember, jumping can be hard on older joints, so be sure your old furry friend doesn’t overdo it.

Best Interactive Toys:

Brain Ball

These toys may look like just treat dispensers from the outside, but inside are several levels of tiers to stop the treats from falling out. Seniors must focus and get active in order to get their treat. As they play, roll, bounce, romp, and bite, they are getting the necessary exercise while giving their brain some exercise.

Hedgehog Hide and Hunt Plush Toy

Elderly dogs can keep their brains sharp and practice their coordination skills as they hide and find three cute little furry hedgehogs inside their matching den.

Nina Ottosson Puzzle Games & Toys

Brain exercises are just as vital for 14-year-old dogs as they are for 14-week-old puppies. Nina Ottosson began creating puzzle toys for her own dogs to enhance both their mental and physical health after she had puppies. Her toys are created for any age and intelligence level so you can pick the best match for your old pet.

Chew Toys:

Fresh Mint Scented Brushing Ball

This elaborate chew toy is made of sturdy rubber, filled with mint scent, and wrapped in nubs and spikes to help scrape away plaque gums and teeth. The more your senior pup plays and chews, the cleaner his mouth will smell and look.

AgriChew

This exceptional rubber toy was originally crafted as a piece of agricultural equipment. When inventor, Mark Smith saw how much his dog loved gnawing on it, the AgriChew was born. The flexible, yet tough material is totally pet-safe and durable with just the right amount of giving to be gentle on senior teeth and gums. Fill the center hole with peanut butter or little treats for an added chew incentive.

 

Where Are the Video Games for Adults?

Does learning end when you get older?

That would seem to be the case based on a festival held in NY. I generally don’t write about education, but the coverage for developers that want to create games that effect change got me thinking about why mostly all of them were for children.

Educational games bring in about a little over $8 billion to the U.S. economy. At a high level, the industry would agree that educational titles are truly complementing book learning and traditional classrooms.

But hearing these important folks giving this festival, I picked up on something in the discussions: Educational games were always implied to be for kids.

Don’t get me wrong. There were a few games shown at the festival that were geared in a way to teach adult concepts that may or may not matter in an adult’s life. The most efficient one for me was Parable of the Polygons, which energetically showed how small individual prejudices can, in aggregate, allow segregation.

But what about an upfront lesson? You might want to take another shot at calculus, figure out what happened in the Civil War, or learn code, yet you haven’t set foot in a classroom in years. Sure, you can watch an online lecture or read a book. But I’d bet plenty of the educational games you’ll see are obviously for the younger crowd.

The closest thing to what I’m talking about (some educational/learning tool or app for adults) is possibly Duolingo, a well-known mobile app for learning new languages.

But that’s just one subject. The gaming industry really feels that its software can alter our brains and not just satisfy parents who are anxious about their child’s homework. The bottom line is there’s a big untapped group of adult dummies that want to learn too.

Why Little Girls Love All the Different Disney Princesses

Looking for her prince!

Being the mom of a girly girl can be interesting for a tomboy mom like myself. But when it comes to princesses, I do have a soft side. As a mama who is raising multi-cultural children, I love that we’re seeing diverse Disney princesses in which my daughter can see herself reflected not only as a girl of color, but also as a girl who can dream limitlessly about who she wants to be when she grows up.

There are many reasons to love these different Disney princesses that go beyond their ethnicity and skin color. I’m sure many families will relate to them in many ways. For us, it’s the combination of the depth of these characters with the idea they show that you can be a brown or black girl who is smart and beautiful.

With creating more different Disney princesses, we see the progression that has being made by Disney from the typecasts of years past where their princesses had only blond hair and white skin, not to mention who were damsel in distress waiting for a strong princess to come to the rescue.

Today, not only do we see pretty different Disney princesses that are created in different ethnicities and shades, they also have different dynamics, strength, aspirations, and family settings. Simply put, we see how Disney has grown to show characters that more kids can identify with as our country and the world continues to be more diverse.

That is not to say that the different Disney princesses we see today represent everyone. There are numerous untold stories that they haven’t gotten around to. I’m sure that we will continue to see more inclusiveness and expansion in their characters down the road in the near future.

The Comeback of Coloring Books (Including the Ones for Adults!)

You may be astonished to know that three of Amazon’s top 10 bestselling books in 2015 were adult coloring books for adults. If you don’t believe it, Google it. The three coloring books for adults that made the list are:

  • Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book
  • Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
  • Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns

You might believe that selling thousands of adult coloring books looks like a new trend. You’d be wrong. Adult coloring books made The NYT 1962 Bestsellers List. Barbra Streisand was encouraged to sing a song about them.

The big difference is that adult coloring books in the 1960s had political ideas. Today, adult coloring books ensures stress relief and relaxation. The New Republic had an article headlined, “The Fundamental History Adult Coloring Books of the 60s.”

Crayola is also getting in on it the latest trend. There’s nothing like opening a new box Crayons. Recently, Crayola presented its first line of adult coloring books in its history of being around for over 112 years. Rightly called Color Escapes, Crayola’s line claims specified coloring pages designed for adults. These adult versions of the children’s classic are geared to be about themes like patterns and nature.

Coloring in these books lets you concentrate on the present instead of pondering about the worries of the world.

Coloring books have helped a lot of people, including a large number of adults from young to seniors, have more positivity in their lives. NPR asked their listeners if they liked to color, and thousands said yes. One listener said they were in the hospital for a few weeks. Thy used adult coloring books to be in a world without the fluorescent lights and sterile rooms.

Fun And Games In The Backyard

Got a grumpy or bored kid in your home? Take ’em outside! Some sunshine and fresh air goes a long way toward making a little frown turn into a smile. No need to go far to get the smiles going again. Outdoor activities are wonderfully doable right in your yard or neighborhood.

There is a thrill, no matter what age you are, in staying up past your bedtime. It’s my favorite thing to do with my kids, particularly on warm summer nights when we have a fire and make s’mores. Sometimes we’re even indulged with a twinkling of fireflies. Magical doesn’t even come close to explaining these nights. This summer, use any reason to stay out late and play under the stars.

Movies alfresco
Our local park has outdoor summer movies, so we’re going to catch a few of those. I’m also going to use my projector and put a sheet off the deck so we can have our own yard movie fest.

Night hiking
The element of danger that goes with exploring at night makes even the most everyday destinations exciting, regardless if you’re searching the backyard or your neighborhood. Want to really impress your children? Get headlamps!

Glow
Pick up some glow sticks and you can have all kinds of fun. Glow bracelets make for a fun time of ring toss and are necessary accessories for backyard games.

Playing in the dark
At night, ordinary games take on a new feeling. Hide and seek or tag in which the seeker has a flashlight are super exciting. Pair smaller kids with adults to avert freak-outs.

The aftermath
As great as these nights are, there’s typically a price to be paid the next day. Be sure to plan a low-key morning, such as lying on the couch and watching cartoons.

Where To Donate Old Toys

Regardless if you’re cleaning or trying to reduce post-holidays clutter, donating used toys can aid in clearing out your home and do something wonderful at the same time. Making those toys cleaned, assembled, and working is the 1st step, after which you need to get a place that take toy donations.

By researching your choices for donating toys, you can work with your family to pick a way to donate or a certain cause that is most worthy of your donation. You don’t have to pick just one. Divide up your donations to a couple of various causes if you can’t pick just one.

Toy Donation Choices

  1. Resell Charities
    Charity thrift stores such as The Salvation Army take toys and then put them on the store floor for others to purchase. Any monies they get from the sale of the toys is put back into programs that help the needy right in your own community. it’s a good way to make sure that families have access to low-priced toys while aiding to keep funds in your own neighborhood.
  2. Local Shelters and Children’s Centers
    If you have a shelter or children’s charity in your community, there’s a great chance that it takes toy donations. After all, children will be children, and kids who visit shelters can be more at ease when there are toys to play with. You just need to phone ahead, as some charities won’t take toy donations.
  3. Preschools and Nurseries
    A local for-profit nursery or preschool may not be an exempt organization, so donating there won’t get you a deduction on your taxes. Still, it’s an unselfish gift if you’ve observed that a preschool is in need of some slightly used toys. Just be sure phone before you take in a donation, as there may be some rules to toy donations.